by Focus Middle Tennessee staff
Ahhhh… Summer! The outdoors, the lake, the swimming pool, beaches – I could go on. If your pets are like mine, they like the outdoors, but love the AC! Keeping them cool is a priority whether they are or aren’t lovers of summertime.
Here are a few tips from Home Run Pet Care to keep them cool if you are on an outdoor adventure. For more about Home Run Pet Care, click here.
This is a given. If you bring your pet anywhere with you, make sure they have access to cool, clean water. A water bottle and/or a collapsible pet bowl should be with you at all times.
We all know dogs will go… and go… and go if we let them. Sometimes they do not know when they need a break so we need to make sure to be aware of their behavior and stop for water and shade.
While animals have protective paws, they’re still susceptible to burns on hot surfaces like pavement, asphalt, and sidewalks! Even after the sun has set, some of these surfaces can remain hot for hours. A best practice is to place your barefoot or palm on the surface for 10 seconds. If you can’t withstand the heat, neither can your furry friend. Another option, if your dog will comply, is a pair of booties. Sticking to the grass is the best option, but be sure to watch out for broken glass and other dangers that could be lurking.
It’s important to be aware of potential signs and symptoms of heatstroke. These may include: exaggerated panting, glazed eyes, excessive drooling, lethargy, deep red gums, racing heartbeat, fever, collapsing, vomiting, blank stare and/or anxious expression. Any dog can be hit with heatstroke, but some are more prone to it than others – young puppies, as well as seniors, any dog that already has health issues, and especially brachycephalic breeds (dogs with short noses and flat faces) such as pugs, shih tzus and bulldogs.
Dangerous Times of Day
Just like with us humans, it’s best to avoid the midday sun. Plan your day to be out in the early morning or late evening. It also goes without saying that anytime is a dangerous time to leave your pets in a vehicle. JUST DON’T DO IT.
Look for trees providing canopy effect shade. Don’t forget the shade that can be provided with an umbrella.
Ways to implement sun protection
Animals can get sunburns too which can lead to pain, blistering, and even skin cancer. If you don’t have access to shade or want the extra layer of protection, there are now animal-specific sunscreens and even UPF doggie apparel. Consult your veterinarian for more information on these types of products before purchasing.